Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Undead in the 17th Century - Skeletons

No. Encountered:  Varies
Movement:  120'
Size:  Man-sized
Armor Class:  7
Hit Dice:  1 (d8)
Attacks:  1
Damage:  1d6
Special Attacks: 
Special Defenses:  Vanity, Undead Resistances
Save:  Fighter 1
Morale: 12
Treasure:  TBD

Skeletons are the manifestation of vanity. They are walking corpses stripped of skin and muscle leaving just a frame of bone, sinew, and tendons. Skeletons cling to vanity even in death, clothing themselves in the finest linens they can find and bathing themselves in scented oils. Skeletons are driven by a malevolent spirit bent on destroying beauty.

Skeletons strike upon the Vanity of all who behold them as undead; Skeletons can pass for living beings from a distance. All must roll higher than their Charisma score on a D20 or flee in terror.

All undead are immune to charms, enchantments, sleep, and hold spells.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turn Living

I was toying around with the concept of the undead a while back and I wanted to revisit it. Ultimately, I wanted to change the paradigm around. Rather than having the players being able to trivialize the undead with a Cleric in the party, I wanted that dynamic to work the other way.

Turn Living

Every undead creature has an innate ability to terrorize living beings and send them screaming away in horror or cower in fear. In the case of the Zombie, they exude a "fear of the grave" that requires a wisdom saving throw. So instead of every zombie encounter starting with a turn undead, it now starts with a "turn living."

As I said before, the undead should be something terrifying to characters and even a little bit for the players. With a turn living type ability and a re-imagining of their other abilities, undead encounters should be something special and a learning opportunity. We can create the opportunity for players to become undead hunters, rather than there being one in every church already.

Turn Undead

So the corresponding change would have to come upon turn undead or else a battle with the undead just becomes a battle of saving throws. Let's change turn undead to "Faith" and it allows anyone who failed their "turn living" check to reroll. Of course, this supposes that the Cleric himself succeeded in that initial save.

Now, a Cleric becomes a weapon against the undead rather than an I Win Button.